March 21, 2022

Gas Prices

“With gas prices at record highs across the U.S., an increasing number of governors and state lawmakers are calling for the suspension of gas taxes to provide relief to motorists who are facing the prospect of even higher pump prices as the country cuts off Russian oil imports.” AP News

New legislation from Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D., R.I.) and Rep. Ro Khanna (D., Calif.) would put a 50% tax, charged for a barrel, on the price difference between the current cost of a barrel of oil and the average cost for a barrel between 2015 and 2019. It would raise an estimated $45 billion a year at $120-a-barrel oil, according to lawmakers behind the proposal.” Wall Street Journal

“A group of Democratic state lawmakers [last] Thursday proposed sending every California taxpayer a $400 tax rebate check to reduce the financial pain they’re suffering because of gas prices and the rising costs of everyday goods.” Los Angeles Times

See past issues

From the Right

The right is critical of Democrats’ efforts to provide tax rebates and increase taxes on oil companies.

From the Left

The left argues for direct consumer relief, a windfall tax on oil companies, and investment in renewables.

The left argues for direct consumer relief, a windfall tax on oil companies, and investment in renewables.

A libertarian's take

“While rebates and tax credits are not a great means of responding to rising gas prices (or inflation generally), they're not a bad way of spending massive budget surpluses. Across the country, state governments find themselves flush with cash—thanks to gobs of unspent federal relief money and higher than expected pandemic-era tax revenues…

“Congress' provision of that federal aid was fiscally irresponsible given our large and growing national debt and seemingly unnecessary given how much of it is just sitting in state government coffers. But there's no unringing that bell. Giving that excess money directly to taxpayers in the form of cash means individuals, not state legislators, will ultimately decide how it's spent.”
Christian Britschgi, Reason

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